utilities

MPs call for more investment in dementia research

Kirsty MaraisClare van LyndenSusan MitchellEmily CookEmma HardwickHelen DaviesMelody Paton Borchardt

On Tuesday 25 June, Debbie Abrahams MP led a 90-minute debate titled ‘Improving the lives of people with dementia’ in Westminster Hall. Among the MPs in attendance was Caroline Dinenage, the Minister of State for Health and Social Care.

This debate was the first to focus on dementia in three years. The event was crucial in raising awareness of dementia research among MPs.

Our Campaigners did a brilliant job of encouraging their MPs to get on board. We spoke with MPs beforehand about the importance of investing in research to bring about life-changing new treatments for dementia.

What MPs said

We were delighted to see MPs from across the different parties speaking up for people living with dementia.

Daniel Zeichner MP talked about the work of Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Cambridge Drug Discovery Institute. He asked the government to pledge to put Just 1% of the total cost of dementia towards research each year.Mr Zeichner said,

“While £269m are invested in cancer research, only £83.1m is invested in dementia research.”

While £269m are invested in cancer research, only £83.1m is invested in dementia research; Daniel Zeichner MP Click To Tweet

Holly Lynch MP spoke about the economic reasons to invest in dementia research:

“It’s been estimated that dementia costs the UK economy [£26bn] a year, which is more than the cost of cancer, heart disease or stroke. And with the numbers of those living with dementia expected to double by 2040, predicted costs are expected to treble alongside that increase…I hope the Minister can assure us that she’ll seek to continue to make it a priority area for the next incoming Prime Minister.”

It’s been estimated that dementia costs the UK economy £26bn a year, which is more than the cost of cancer, heart disease or stroke; Holly Lynch MP Click To Tweet

Dr Philippa Whitford MP raised the limited treatments for dementia. She said we need “game-changing” levels of research to understand how we can prevent and treat dementia.

Dr Whitford said,

“Unfortunately, treatment at the moment is very limited. We’ve not had any new drugs since 2002.”

Julie Cooper MP, Shadow Minister for Health and Social Care, echoed our call for Just 1%. She argued that the Challenge on Dementia does not yet gone far enough to support dementia research. Ms Cooper said,

“Dementia is decades behind other conditions… The 2015 Challenge on Dementia that was mentioned was most welcome but does not go far enough and I look forward to hearing how the Minister might take that forward.”

The 2015 Challenge on Dementia that was mentioned was most welcome but does not go far enough and I look forward to hearing how the Minister might take that forward; Julie Cooper MP Click To Tweet

Help spread the word

The debate was a great opportunity to raise awareness of dementia research in parliament, but we still need your help to make sure dementia research is a political priority.

Please email your MP and ask them to help increase investment in dementia research.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply